[Run time = 26 min.] I’ve posted about LivingHomes here, here, and here. Well, Steve Glenn is the company’s CEO and Founder and he has some interesting things to say. If you’re still unsure about his green cred, he built the first LEED Platinum home in the United States (with the design help of Ray Kappe). Enjoy…
If you’re going to office in what looks to be the greenest skyscraper in the country, you should also have a sustainable business strategy to go along with it. One Bryant Park, soon to be known as the Bank of America Tower, is the perfect place for a company that just announced a $20B initiative to support environmental lending. Designed by Cook + Fox Architects and developed by the Durst Organization, One Bryant Park is shooting for LEED Platinum certification. It’s a 2.1 million sf, 54-story, crystalline office tower located right in midtown Manhattan and is slated for completion in 2008.
ABC News recently ran an article on some of the more interesting green features of the building. Interestingly, it will only cost about 1-2% extra (of a total $1.2B) to include all the green additions, but those are expected to be paid for within a 2-4 year window as a result of saved energy expenses. That’s the business case for green building. There will be rainwater capture, floor-to-ceiling windows for natural lighting, advanced double wall technology to allow light and block heat, air cleaned of 95% of its particle matter, a floor duct air system controllable in each room or office, three state-of-the-art natural gas fuel cells to create on-site energy, building concrete made of 45% blast furnace slag for stronger construction, and daylight dimming and LED lights for reduced electric usage. The result: these green additions have the anticipated benefits of reducing energy consumption by 50%, reducing potable water consumption by 50%, reducing storm water contribution by 95%, and using about 50% recycled materials in construction. That’s a lighter footprint.
Hot on the heels of news that Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is going to develop a $1B green resort named "Ever Vail," comes news that Park City’s Newpark Community has pre-qualified for LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) certification. These ski towns are really laying it on thick–and they’re doing more than flaunting offsets. When it comes down to it, they bank on the livelihood of snow, so it’s logical to consider the business implication of climate change. Having green neighborhoods and buildings is a smart way to lighten that environmental footprint.
Newpark is a 38 acre, mixed-use development with resort town homes, a commercial and retail walkable community, and a condominium hotel (opening January 2008). With respect to its green features, LEED-ND certification requires the incorporation of smart growth, urbanism, and green building principles on a neighborhood planning and design level. Projects are evaluated based on the following three categories (1) smart location + community linkage, (2) neighborhood pattern + design, and (3) actual use of green technology in construction. A notable accomplishment at Newpark is the site development to open space ratio of 1-4.5. That’s 9 times the LEED requirement for allocation to open space. I’ve seen it and it looks to be quite the lively, little community. Via.
Fellow green building blogger Stephen at GreenBuildingsNYC had an editorial published called "The Greening of Buildings: Babylon Town’s adoption of an environmentally friendly building code has virtues, but could scare off potential development." Stephen talks about Town of Babylon’s adoption of a LEED Code (likely the nation’s strictest) requiring commercial, industrial, office, and multiple residential buildings larger than 4,000 sf to get LEED certification. I recommend giving the article a read, but I wanted to highlight a few salient points that he made:
- LEED ordinances that require an actual USGBC certificate face opposition from interested parties because (1) depending on the size of the project, owners will need to pay a minimum of $35,000 per project just to secure certification (unless Platinum certified), and (2) there is a potential for delay in process of evaluating applications.
- LEED ordinances that "automatically adopt any future versions promulgated" could be problematic. By doing this, a town has effectively handed the keys to its local building code to a third party. The building code can be subject to modification any time.
- An effective means of encouraging green building practices is through the use of financial incentives such as floor-area bonuses under the existing zoning, expedited review of building permits, and various tax credits and rebates.
Good food for thought. These are just a few points from the article. It’s important to remember that LEED is a means to sustainability, it’s not the end, by any stretch of the imagination. Nice work, Stephen.
There’s a reason GreenBuild 2007, the green building industry’s major conference and expo, is going to be in Chicago. The city is just busting at the seams with progressive thinkers and eco-entrepreneurs. Recently, I noticed a news report about Baum Development rehabbing the old Cooper Lamp Factory in Logan Square into a one-stop, live-work, shopping center of green businesses and activities. It’s going to be called the Green Exchange. The four-story, 250,000 square foot building, located at 2545 West Diversey Avenue, will be renovated to LEED Silver standards with a variety of uses including retail, showroom galleries, office, and incubator lofts.
The Baum Development team is planning on some aggressive green renovations. The parking spaces will have electrical outlets for hybrid cars, but that’s not all: hybrids have priority parking privileges. There will be a 9.000 square foot sky garden, solar panels on the roof, and a roof garden. A rainwater cistern will collect water for the gardens and landscaping. Some other green features include the high-efficiency HVAC system, eco-friendly paints and stains, bike room and showers, car sharing services, and energy-efficient doors and windows. In total, Baum will spend about $30 million outfitting the old facility with the latest and greatest in green building technologies.
This is probably the quote of the year for a real estate developer: "I didn’t want a building that in 10 years would have to compete with all the new buildings that are LEED certified." That’s what Loretta Cockrum, chairman and CEO of Foram Group, said in regards to her new LEED-CS Silver pre-certified project. The $245 million, 1.5 million sf green project known as Brickell Financial Centre breaks ground in April and is set for completion in fall 2009. The first phase will consist of 600,000 square feet in a 40-story tower, the first floor for lobby and retail space and the second 11 for parking, topped by 28 floors of class-A office space. The second tower, rising 68 stories, will include retail and office space, and a 300-room hotel. Lead architect RTKL will also have the help of Sasaki for the 30,000 square foot public plaza space, which is supposed to rival New York’s Rockefeller Plaza in scale.
Like most LEED projects, there’s a slew of green features, so I’m just going to lay some of them out: low-emissivity window glass covering to allow natural light and block solar heat; chilled water cooling system; low-flow and dual-flush toilets to cut down on potable-water use; storm water cisterns for irrigation; extensive use of low- or no-VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives throughout the building; and special storage facilities for people that bike to work. As for construction materials, Foram Group will use materials that have a high percentage of recycled content and are sourced within a 500 mile radius.
::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::